October 15, 2004

Boris, How Could You ...


... be so stupid as to think that making a point about the British tendency to mass hysteria when anyone (in the public eye) dies, would meet with anything other than exactly the same reaction? Ok, so the Spectator is an evil nasty rag and Boris Johnson, its editor, is not much nicer. However, why is there some kind of national mourning every time someone who's been in the news dies? I'm not heartless, I feel for Ken Bigley and his family, just as I feel for the 13,000 Iraqi civilians who 'we' have killed in 'our' war. Johnson of course took it too far. It's not about welfarism or being a victim, Boris. In recalcitrating to a stereotyped vision of Liverpool - full of dole blaggers, criminals and scallies - Boris lost the argument. However, there is a wider tendency to mass hysteria in the British psyche and particularly tabloid newspapers - Bigley, Princess Diana, Soham murders. Yet, African boy found in Thames 'sans head', Victoria Climbié battered to death, thousands of dead in Darfur, rape, murder and torture of innocent civilians in Iraq - no hysteria in the tabloids. See a pattern anyone? Boris deserves his kicking, but many of the same people newspapers who are now vilifying Boris were in the favour of the war in the first place. Hypocrisy? You bet ya!